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Save Money, Perform Better: The Benefits of Improving First Contact Resolution

Contact Us for First Contact Resolution

When it comes to providing high quality IT service, having a high First Contact Resolution (FCR) rate is essential. High First Contact Resolution rates allow for resolution to be delivered quickly and closely to the customer, minimizing inconvenience and building customer satisfaction. Successful Service Desks are able to resolve routine requests and incidents enabling engineers on levels 2 and 3 to focus on more demanding and specialized tasks.

In order to improve your FCR rate, you will first need to measure your Service Desk's performance. Metrics should not be used as a one-time performance indicator or point of reference; best practices for improving FCR require using metrics for continuous quality improvement.

Metrics should be developed with your Service Level Agreement (SLA) in mind, and your end goal as a point of reference. Not only should metrics help you to analyze black and white aspects of your service such as call volume, FCR rates, etc., but also 360 degree feedback measures like client satisfaction or operational maturity in regards to individual and team performance.

Knowledge management is important for improving First Contact Resolution. Generally, this involves gathering environment-specific knowledge regarding systems, configuration, dependencies and failure points. Use this knowledge to identify opportunities for improvement, and establish a system and culture for sharing knowledge and new techniques. Some effective models for improving knowledge and knowledge sharing include:

  • Regular observation, coaching and feedback sessions with staff
  • Creating a knowledge base that allows for easy searches for information
  • Regular status reports including lessons learned, achievements and obstacles to overcome

High First Contact Resolution rates equate to money saved. The estimated cost for resolving a ticket on level one is around $32 versus $60 for an escalated ticket, hence, thousands of dollars can be saved by improving FCR levels. As an example, a Service Desk that averages 4,000 calls per month will save an estimated $28,000 by improving FCR from 50% to 70%. Beyond financial benefits, improved FCR enhances end-user productivity, job satisfaction for both Level 1 and 2 engineers, relationships between teams, and, of course, customer satisfaction!

Please see Giva's whitepaper on service desk optimization for a much more in-depth review of this subject.

Giva Announces New Partnership with Pacen Corp Pty Limited

Pacen Corp

In its ongoing effort to deliver unequaled value to customers around the world, Giva is excited to announce a new partnership with Pacen Corp Pty Limited., based in North Sydney, Australia. Pacen Corp. specializes in the distribution of IT Service Desk and Asset Management solutions throughout Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Rim region. In its vision to partner with global leaders for enterprise management, Pacen Corp. offers qualified practitioners in Change Management, Incident Management, Service Desk and ITIL "Best Practice" processes and procedures.

Pacen's strong market knowledge and expertise creates a timely and unified platform partnership with Giva, both of which are poised to offer superior solutions to Australia and the entire Asia Pacific region's growing demand for cloud-based IT Service Management.

"We look forward to working alongside the Giva team in providing the highest quality of products and service to the Asia Pacific Region", said Enzo Casali, General Manager of Pacen.

Giva has established a firm corporate commitment to the Asia Pacific region by hosting cloud-based applications on server farms in Australia. The speed and responsiveness of Giva's cloud IT Service Management applications are unparalleled. All customer data is stored locally on server farms in Australia to assure the highest levels of data security and privacy for organizations in the Asia Pacific region.

Giva offers a suite of exceptional and highly differentiated cloud-based IT Service Management and Customer Service products which excel above the competition as evidenced by the business results achieved by customers and direct comparison of Giva such as ManageEngine Service Desk Plus, SysAid Cloud, Salesforce.com RemedyForce and FrontRange Solutions HEAT products. Giva's satisfied customers reported measurable improvements as follows:

Saint Elizabeth Health Care: 90% reduction in the time required to configure/customize Giva

Miles & Stockbridge P.C.: 70% decrease in number of tickets that remain open from day-to-day

EDIMS: 100% faster application responsive/speed

Miles & Stockbridge P.C.: 70% increase in IT productivity in using the dashboards and real-time reports

Gordon & Rees LLP: 60% increase in meeting Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

Sante Health Systems: 50% increase in productivity by using Giva's integrated custom forms

"The demand for cloud-based application solutions in Australia and New Zealand is growing exponentially, and we are excited to work with the dedicated and highly skilled Pacen team to meet those demands head-on", said Ron Avignone, Giva founder.

About Giva

Founded in 1999, Giva was among the first to provide a suite of help desk and customer service/call center applications architected for the cloud. Now, with hundreds of customer driven releases, the Giva Service Management™ Suite delivers an intuitive, easy-to-use design that can be deployed in just days and requires only one hour of training. Giva's robust, fast and painless reporting/analytics/KPIs quickly measure team productivity, responsiveness and customer satisfaction resulting in faster and higher quality decision-making. Customization and configuration are all point and click with no programming or consultants required to deliver a substantially lower total cost of ownership. Giva is a private company headquartered in Santa Clara, California serving delighted customers worldwide.

About Pacen

Pacen Corp specialises in the distribution of Service Desk and Asset Management solutions throughout Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Rim region.

For more than twenty years, it has distributed its products directly to corporate, government, education, and non-for-profit organisations; coupled with services for effective implementation, customisation and technician training.

Let's Shake on It: Implementing a Service Level Agreement

Securing a Service Level Agreement

What is a Service Level Agreement? (SLA)

Think of a SLA like a contract; it will contain agreed-upon standards and standard operating procedures for your team in providing services to your client. SLAs keep your organization accountable and set clear guidelines for what customers should expect from their IT services, defining for customers what to expect from their services, and creating a foundation for mutual accountability between your business and your customers. Service Level Agreements can be developed for internal customers as well, such as an IT help desk's levels of service for the personnel they support.


Benefits of a SLAs

  • Improve customer service and contribute to long-term customer loyalty and engagement
  • Facilitate communication and understanding between your business and your clients
  • Define procedures
  • Provide a basis for conflict resolution
  • Documented agreement
  • Mutually accepted

 

Putting Together a Service Level Agreement

Build Internal Commitment. What you put into your SLA you must adhere to. Make sure that your entire IT service desk staff and support groups are ready and willing to commit to the SLA.

Get to know your customer. Your team will understand how to best help your client with their IT needs if you thoroughly understand your client.

Identify participants. Identify all stakeholders, including clients, IT service desk staff, outside organization that may assist the service desk, important individuals or decision makers, etc.

Set up support metrics. Establish guidelines within your IT service desk team for responding to various issues, assigning different situations/cases different severity levels. Once you have defined severity levels; assign cycle times (how long it takes to resolve a case) according to the level of severity of each particular case.

Create a Rough Draft. The following are examples of important elements of a SLA:

  • Introduction
  • Service goal
  • Definition of terms - not everyone will know the terms used; define terms to the lowest common level
  • Service delivery elements (e.g. business hours, methods for requesting service, service tracking procedures, environments supported)
  • Escalation procedures
  • Telephone, web and email response times
  • First contact resolution by the IT service desk (e.g. IT service desk level 1 will resolve at least 70% of all cases received)
  • Reporting methods
  • SLA contract periods
  • Examples of cases by severity level and type
  • Sample of customer satisfaction survey questions

 

Getting Everyone on Board

After creating a rough draft, present it to your managers and IT/customer service teams to obtain their feedback, approval and confirmation to proceed. Once your team is on board, it is time to meet with your customers to review the Service Level Agreement and get their feedback. Make sure you are ready to explain your reasons for certain decisions regarding items included in the SLA (e.g. response times, severity levels, etc.). Should your customers request alterations to certain items in your SLA, it is important to listen to them, as they will probably be fair. Once you come to mutual agreement with one of your customers, you will be well on your way to SLA success with all of your customers.

For more information on preparing Service Level Agreements for your business, Giva provides much more in-depth coverage of this subject in our whitepaper Implementing Service Level Agreements, which you can view online or download for free.

Giva Announces New Partnership with Bellridge Pty Limited

Bellridge Pty Ltd

Giva is very pleased to announce a new partnership with Bellridge Pty Limited, linking arms to provide unparalleled value to its customers around the globe. Bellridge, with locations in both Sydney and Auckland, represents a very strong, well established presence in providing integrated IT solutions and stellar technical support to organizations throughout Australia, New Zealand and the Asia Pacific region.

Bellridge's strong regional knowledge, expertise and reputation as a value added reseller, paired with Giva's easy-to-use cloud-based solutions, creates a powerful synergistic team to meet the growing demand in the Asia Pacific region for cloud IT Service Management.

"We look forward to working alongside the Giva team in providing the highest quality of products and services to the Asia Pacific region", said Jon Alexander, Director of Bellridge.

Giva has established a firm corporate commitment to the Asia Pacific region by hosting cloud-based applications on server farms in Australia. The speed and responsiveness of Giva's cloud IT Service Management applications are unparalleled. All customer data is stored locally on server farms in Australia to assure the highest levels of data security and privacy for organizations in the Asia Pacific region.

Giva offers a suite of exceptional and highly differentiated cloud-based IT Service Management and Customer Service products which excel above the competition as evidenced by the business results achieved by customers and direct comparison of Giva to BMC Track-It! and BMC Footprints, Salesforce.com RemedyForce, FrontRange Solutions HEAT, and SysAid Cloud products. Giva's satisfied customers reported measurable improvements as follows:

Saint Elizabeth Health Care: 90% reduction in the time required to configure/customize Giva

Miles & Stockbridge P.C.: 70% decrease in number of tickets that remain open from day-to-day

EDIMS: 100% faster application responsive/speed

Miles & Stockbridge P.C.: 70% increase in IT productivity in using the dashboards and real-time reports

Gordon & Rees LLP: 60% increase in meeting Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

Sante Health Systems: 50% increase in productivity by using Giva's integrated custom forms

"The demand for cloud-based application solutions in Australia and New Zealand is growing exponentially, and we are excited to work with the dedicated and highly skilled Bellridge team to meet those demands head-on", said Ron Avignone, Giva founder.

About Giva

Founded in 1999, Giva was among the first to provide a suite of help desk and customer service/call center applications architected for the cloud. Now, with hundreds of customer driven releases, the Giva Service Management™ Suite delivers an intuitive, easy-to-use design that can be deployed in just days and requires only one hour of training. Giva's robust, fast and painless reporting/analytics/KPIs quickly measure team productivity, responsiveness and customer satisfaction resulting in faster and higher quality decision-making. Customization and configuration are all point and click with no programming or consultants required to deliver a substantially lower total cost of ownership. Giva is a private company headquartered in Santa Clara, California serving delighted customers worldwide.

About Bellridge

For nearly a decade, Bellridge has been providing integrated IT solutions to institutions throughout Australia and New Zealand. Widely known for their ease-of-use, affordability and high level performance; SMEs, large enterprises, non-for-profits and government organisations across all industries have benefited from the solutions Bellridge.

Bellridge is focused on providing the highest level of service to their customers through their experience and expertise; and can offer help with every aspect of IT investment, including:

  • Pre and post sales support and new products enquiries
  • Pre and post technical support
  • License renewals and upgrades
  • Professional Services, including implementation, customisation and training.

To this end, Bellridge has offices in Sydney and Auckland if your organisation needs local support and Professional Services.

Value in Healthcare Information Technology (HIT)

Healthcare Information Technology

In a digitized world, one of the greatest conveniences is health information technology (HIT). Considering nearly everyone in the US is a consumer of healthcare, there are numerous benefits to adopting electronic health records. The evidence report, Costs and Benefits of Health Information Technology, outlines a few. Health information technology is a means of electronically storing, recording, accessing, or transferring a patient's medical records. This includes health and medical history. Not only is this paperless and perhaps more reliable, but it allows for "clinical decision-making and disease management." It also allows for prescription filling, test ordering, and care reminding. For example, the system can provide alerts for necessary patient vaccinations or send a prescription to be filled at a pharmacy convenient to the patient. Overall, health information technology improves the efficiency of healthcare - a highly profitable, nationwide business.

However, adopting HIT is costly and requires change in the organization. It is considered an investment, but perhaps a necessary investment in terms of economic advancement. In non-financially focused studies concerning adoption of HIT, areas of improvement included increased productivity by the healthcare provider, improved patient safety and, subsequently, fewer adverse drug events (ADE) and time spent in hospitals to treat ADEs, and better physician decision-making. For example, the ability to reduce the "ordering of redundant clinical laboratory tests could produce an annual savings of $35,000 in laboratory charges." It is economically beneficial to improve the efficiency of healthcare.

In a day and age where nearly everything is digitized, it is only fitting a business as widely used as healthcare should follow suit. Adopting health information technology will improve provider efficiency while increasing consumer centeredness. Electronic health records are more personalized, more organized and more efficient. Although implementation of HIT is an expensive adjustment, benefits for both provider and consumer are apparent. Healthcare efficiency is important to society as a whole.

With efficiency of digital access to healthcare records comes the necessity of increased data security measures. The Federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, known as HIPAA, was passed to establish a national framework for security standards and protection of confidentiality with regard to health care data and information. Fortunately, Giva makes HIPAA compliance very easy for our customers. The data center, hardware and software infrastructure of Giva's cloud help desk & customer service software meet the very strict HIPAA compliance regulations. See 7 Key Elements of Giva's HIPAA-Compliant Cloud Help Desk Software for Electronic Health & Medical Records.

Report Analyzes Extent of Data Breaches in California

Interesting reading from the NYT this morning:

"The constant drumbeat of data breaches won't cease anytime soon, according to a new report from California's attorney general, Kamala D. Harris.

There were 167 data breaches reported in California last year, an increase of 28 percent from the 131 data breaches reported the previous year. The information of more than 18.5 million California residents was compromised in 2013, a significant jump from the 2.5 million compromised records in 2012.

Those numbers were skewed by two widespread breaches last year. At Target, personal records for 41 million people were compromised, and at LivingSocial, hackers gained access to 50 million records. According to the attorney general, each of these two breaches put 7.5 million California residents' information at risk.

The majority of breaches — 53 percent — were because of malware and hacking, while a smaller number, 26 percent, was attributed to the physical loss of a computer or device. The report reiterates what many already knew: There is much more information to be stolen through hacking than physical loss. The vast majority of the 17 million records compromised in California last year — 93 percent — were attributable to malware or hacking, whereas only 1.15 million records were compromised by the physical loss of an electronic device."

 

Read more at data breach study in California.

Are your cloud applications HIPAA Compliant?

HIPAA Security For Help Desk, Change Management, Customer Service

Long before the commercial success of the Internet, Brian J. Fox invented one of its most widely used tools.

In 1987, Mr. Fox, wrote Bash, short for Bourne-Again Shell, a free piece of software that is now built into more than 70 percent of the machines that connect to the Internet. That includes servers, computers, routers, some mobile phones and even everyday items like refrigerators and cameras.

On Thursday, security experts warned that Bash contained a particularly alarming software bug that could be used to take control of hundreds of millions of machines around the world, potentially including Macintosh computers and smartphones that use the Android operating system.

The bug, named "Shellshock," drew comparisons to the Heartbleed bug that was discovered in a crucial piece of software last spring.

But Shellshock could be a bigger threat. While Heartbleed could be used to do things like steal passwords from a server, Shellshock can be used to take over the entire machine. And Heartbleed went unnoticed for two years and affected an estimated 500,000 machines, but Shellshock was not discovered for 22 years.

Many of the commercial tools that individual users and large corporations depend upon are built on top of programs that are written and maintained by a few unpaid volunteers in what is called the open-source community. That community, along with big companies like Google, adjusts and builds new things on top of older work. 

Sometimes there are flaws in that code. And over the years, the flaw becomes part of all sorts of products.

The mantra of open source was perhaps best articulated by Eric S. Raymond, one of the elders of the open-source movement, who wrote in 1997 that "given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow." But, in this case, Steven M. Bellovin, a computer science professor at Columbia University, said, those eyeballs are more consumed with new features than quality. "Quality takes work, design, review and testing and those are not nearly as much fun as coding," Mr. Bellovin said. "If the open-source community does not develop those skills, it's going to fall further behind in the quality race."*

Giva is a HIPAA compliant cloud provider for IT Service Management, Customer Service and Change Management. We reduce risk for companies by protecting their data and helping them exceed regulatory requirements. Naturally, we address vulnerabilities like Shellshock.

Give us a call to talk to one of our experts about how we address Shellshock and other vulnerabilities. Or, feel free to learn more about Giva HIPAA compliance on your own. 

* Attribution to the NYT

Experts Say 'Bash' Bug Is a Major Vulnerability

You may have heard the news about a vulnerability in Bash called Shellshock. Bash is a command processor that allows a user to conduct actions through a command-line interface for Linux environments. If the Shellshock vulnerability is exploited, a threat actor with access to a Linux server can run arbitrary commands. Many questions are emerging around how companies can protect their employees and customers.

We can help. Giva is a HIPAA compliant cloud provider for IT Service Management, Customer Service and Change Management. We reduce risk for companies by protecting their data and helping them exceed regulatory requirements. Naturally, we address vulnerabilities like Shellshock.

Give us a call to talk to one of our experts about how we address Shellshock and other vulnerabilities. Or, feel free to learn more about Giva HIPAA compliance on your own. We look forward to discussing this matter with you.

We take security seriously.

IT Help Desk + Customer Service in the Cloud

Watch our eHelpDesk and eCustomerService virtual demos and discover the Giva difference for yourself!

Join Giva for a live demo of our cloud applications to see the Giva difference.

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Twenty Tough Questions to Better Qualify Any Cloud Vendor

How can you more quickly qualify and evaluate any cloud vendor?

This white paper is designed to reduce the complexity of the cloud buying process by providing twenty penetrating questions to ask cloud vendors to become a more informed buyer. Customers interested in purchasing any cloud service (for example, IT help desk or customer service) encounter a myriad of problems and obstacles during the purchase process. The white paper provides practical "how to" advice to help avoid mistakes that even the most experienced professionals make that cost a lot of time and money. Use these questions to poke and prod at your list of cloud vendors.

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